Cuba: Support for the fight against anemia in vulnerable groups in Cuba


This Joint Programme aimed to reduce the prevalence of anemia in young children and pregnant women in Cuba by assisting the government to increase the production, access to and use of foodstuffs rich in micronutrients, mainly iron. Cuba's food and nutritional surveillance systems were also targeted by the programme, which focused on the most vulnerable municipalities of the five eastern provinces and Pinar del Río.

The programme supported the National Iron Deficiency and Anemia Prevention and Control Plan and collaborated with local and national authorities in their efforts towards achieving MDGs 1, 3, 4 and 5. It used maternity centres as one of its most important operational centres.

Some of the achievements of the programme were:

  • The availability of micronutrients-rich vegetables increased for pregnant women and children from 24 districts. Fortified foods were delivered to more than 97,700 children and 13,300 pregnant women. 
  • Capacity and efficiency improved in the production of natural, iron-rich foods in 442 of the 461 selected units in the 24 selected municipalities.
  • There was an improvement in the proper use of micronutrient-rich foods, and in the involvement of families and the population at large in healthy food and nutrition practices.
  • Six human milk banks were established in Pinar del Río, Las Tunas, Granma, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo, which served over 22,000 new mothers who were experiencing difficulty in breastfeeding.
  • There was improved diagnostic capacity of iron-deficiency anaemia. This facilitated population-based studies as a tool for strengthening surveillance.
  • The surveillance, prevention and treatment system for iron deficiency was strengthened through the procurement of equipment such as photometers to determine haemoglobin and the training of technical staff.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Cuba.



The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 02 Nov 2009 - 28 Jun 2013
Net funded amount $8,500,000
Participating UN agencies FAO, PAHO / WHO, UNDP, UNICEF, WFP
National partners Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y la Inversión Extranjera – MINCEX, Ministerio de la Industria Alimentaria –MINAL, Ministerio de Salud Pública – MINSAP, Ministerio de la Agricultura – MINAG, Ministerio de Comercio Interior – MINCIN, Federación de Mujeres Cubanas – FMC, Instituto de Investigaciones de la Industria Alimentaria – IIIA, Centro Nacional de Control de la Calidad de la Industria Alimentaria - CNICA , Instituto de Nutrición e Higiene de los Alimentos - INHA , Centro Nacional de Higiene y Epidemiología –CHEM, Centro Nacional de Promoción y Educación para la Salud – CNPES, Gobiernos municipales y provinciales, Representantes locales de los organismos de la administración central del estado (ministerios)
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